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Family of murdered 7-year-old Athena Strand from Paradise plans vigil

Presley Strand family
Athena Strand's body was found after a two-day search in Wise county, northwest of Fort Worth.

Athena Strand was found dead Friday after going missing two days earlier. A delivery driver was arrested and charged in connection with her death.

The community of Paradise, Texas is mourning the loss of 7-year-old Athena Strand following a two-day search that ended in tragedy.

Athena’s body was found Friday night after she went missing Wednesday northwest of Fort Worth.

The community will hold a candlelight vigil at First Baptist Church Cottondale in Paradise Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Another vigil is being held at Cafe Republic in Fort Worth at the same time.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said his office charged FedEx driver Tanner Lynn Horner with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping in connection with the girl's death.

Akin said it was one of the most difficult investigations he's ever worked on.

"Anytime there's a child that dies, it just hits you in your heart," Akin said. "You compare that child to your own children when they were that age and it just takes the wind out of your sails."

Horner is being held in Wise County jail on a $1.5 million bond, Akin said. Horner is not believed to be related to the girl and did not know the family.
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Pablo Arauz Peña is the breaking news reporter for KERA News.